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ABC News pacts with Discovery

NEW YORK — ABC News is entering the cable business after all, if only for a half-hour a week.

The Alphabet web will produce a half-hour science-themed newscast, “Discovery News,” for the Discovery Channel, which plans to air it on Friday evenings in primetime beginning April 4.

Details will be announced Thursday, but sources said ABC has tapped Carol Williams as the newscast’s exec producer, moving from senior producer for national news at ABC’s “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.”

The Discovery newscast, although owned by the cable web, marks the first regular news program produced by ABC News for another media outlet, although ABC repackages archival footage for A&E’s “Biography.” ABC is a part-owner of A&E.

But while “Discovery News” will include expanded treatment of stories reported on “World News Tonight” and other ABC programs, “We won’t just redo pieces we’ve already done somewhere else,” an ABC insider said. The web hopes to break science news on the Discovery newscast.

Among a rotating group of contributors to the show are ABC correspondents Bill Blakemore and Ned Potter.

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